Brei Theisen had just finished nursing her 14-month-old on the edge of a public pool in Wood River, Illinois when a lifeguard pointed at her and the manager approached her, she told Yahoo Beauty. "I need you to be more discreet because you're offending other people, and I can't allow that to happen," he said. But she didn't let him make her feel ashamed of a healthy, natural act. Instead, she explained why shaming like this needs to stop.
"I'm not going to cover my daughter's head in 90-degree weather—should the people at the food court also cover up?" she asked. When her daughter Ava was hungry again, she went to another employee. He, too, told her she couldn't breastfeed in public and suggested she use a dressing area by the bathroom. "You don't have a problem changing your baby in a public bathroom but you have a problem feeding her there?" he asked.
"You know, I think people are more comfortable sexualizing breasts than relating them to what they were made for, which is feeding another human. It’s crazy.”
#JamesKnight is now 8 months old! These are the moments a mother lives for. Breastfeeding should not be taboo- and bottle feeding should not be judged- it's ALL fun for the whole family:)
"What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep..." she captioned her photo. In 2010, the model was slammed for her comments on breastfeeding and mothers.
According to Today, Pink almost got into a fight over the remark someone made about her nursing. “I think breast-feeding is healthy and natural and it’s a comfort to my baby,” she explained.
“It should be a choice for everyone. I don’t like the idea of breastfeeding being forced on anyone or anyone feeling guilty,” Olivia Wilde, mom to Otis and Daisy, explained to People.
“[Breastfeeding] is not easy — it’s messy. Like 90 percent of the time you are soaked in milk. It is a difficult thing. But it is, personally for me, a great experience.”
Victoria's Secret Candice Swanepoel posted in 2016: Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I've done in the name of art..? The world has been desensitized to the sexualization of the breast and to violence on tv...why should it be different when it comes to breastfeeding? -Breastfeeding is not sexual it's natural- Those who feel it is wrong to feed your child in public need to get educated on the benefits breastfeeding has on mother and child and intern on society as a whole. 💪🏼💙 👫👭 #mothernature
To People, Alanis Morissette said: “We live in a very funny society, a society that on one hand says that we’re just a sexual object … and then when this other sort of otherworldly, biological wind-in-the-hair goddess power comes out in the form of feeding our children in a very beautiful, animal way, that can actually be more intimidating.”
"Breastfeeding is just obviously really convenient with my lifestyle. I don’t know when I’m going to stop [nursing]. I’ll just keep going while I can — he’s getting his teeth so it is a little bit scary. He’s bitten me a few times!" she said in 2007 when nursing Kingston, according to People.
Molly Sims captioned a photo of her breastfeeding her third child, Grey: "BREASTFEEDING=JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE! 💙 "
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Despite what the pool staff said, Theisen actually had a legal right to nurse there. Every state except Idaho has a law allowing women to breastfeed in public places. The Wood River Parks and Recreation Department promised in a statement to Fox 2 Now that pool employees would be trained in this law for the future.
Theisen doesn't plan on going back to this pool, and she's concerned other nursing moms might not returned to places where they've been shamed either if they don't know their rights. "You shouldn't be afraid to breastfeed in public," she told KSDK. "But for these situations, it makes it happen, people are afraid to breastfeed."
So, she wants to clear things up: Moms have the right to feed their children however, wherever, and whenever they want, and it's not OK to make them feel bad about it. "I shouldn't have been told to be discrete or cover up," she said. "Nobody else eats under a cover, especially in 90-degree weather."